December 22, 2017

SBB takes delivery of Gotthard tunnel maintenance vehicles

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Harsco powered base vehicle and personnel module. Harsco powered base vehicle and personnel module.

HARSCO Rail Europe has handed over the first six of 31 maintenance vehicles to Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) for use in the Gotthard Base Tunnel. Harsco was awarded the SFr 93.7m ($US 94.7m) contract by SBB in 2013.

The initial six machines are part of a batch of 13 base maintenance vehicles. Each machine can be operated either from the overhead electrification or through a combination of diesel and electric power.

Each 80-tonne vehicle has a crane and is equipped with an air-conditioned personnel module that includes a kitchen and a combustion toilet. The base vehicles can be operated from the driver’s cab or remotely. They can also be controlled from other wagons.

Harsco is also supplying flat wagons which can be coupled with an automatic coupler to form 300-440m-long maintenance trains. The wagons have lifting platforms and what Harsco describes as a unique mobile sealing gate which can seal the tunnel to prevent wind turbulence during maintenance work.

The vehicles will be based at new tunnel maintenance centres in Erstfeld and Biasco.

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